- advertisement -

Need some help with food choices

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by dqmomof3, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    I posted a couple of weeks ago that my oldest was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. It looks like the next step for him is going to be to do a total elimination diet of the six major offenders - dairy, wheat, eggs, shellfish, nuts, and soy. He is also allergic to citrus (and tree nuts, but those are included in the elimination anyway!)

    We need to figure out what he CAN eat. He is in college, in a dorm, and he eats in the dining hall twice a day. If he can't find food choices, I know he isn't going to truly do the elimination, which makes the whole effort pointless :(.

    If any of you have suggestions, or have kids in this boat, what has worked for you? They will eliminate all six offenders for three months, then scope him again to see if it has worked. If it has, they will then add back two offending groups at a time for three months, and scope again after each set of two.

    So, what are your favorite wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, shellfish-free, nut-free, soy free foods that he can find in the dining hall or keep in his dorm room? :cwds:
     
  2. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,925
    Here are some grains that aren't on the list you wrote:
    Quinoa
    Rice
    Oats
    Barley
    Buckwheat

    You can probably get oatmeal in the dining room, and sometimes rice. You can buy quinoa (it's not cheap) and it cooks pretty fast. Barley not so much. Buckwheat, depending on how you buy it, may be quick to cook, or you can buy it with a lot of hard shells (yuck). It probably won't be in the dining room either.

    Your son obviously has all fruits and salads open to him, as well as meats and fishes as long as they don't have breading. The dining room probably has some of that. Vegetables the dining room might have is probably really just potatoes, carrots, corn and salad stuff. Hopefully they have beans. There are lots of great beans out there even after you eliminate soy, and a lot of them make good dietary staples.
    Avocados are a really great food source. Lots of calories, and it's one of the only foods that I can reliably digest and even better it has fat (I have some GI issues and it's not clear what they are, but part of it is difficulty digesting fats).

    When I was 16 and 17 I went gluten free on top of being a vegan, and I was eating on about $70/month. I mostly ate beans, potatoes, and fruits. I did also eat some soy and nut products and I spent a lot on a little yeast. Since it was winter, I also got a few squashes. There was a little campus health food store by me (I was a student at a different university, which wasn't selling much of anything on campus that I was willing to eat and that was also affordable by my standards) and I bought a lot of loose beans and produce there.
     
  3. RomeoEcho

    RomeoEcho Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    483
    My experience with food allergies is that it is very easy to eat at home, cooking good food from the perimeter of the grocery store (meat, vegetables, fruit, rice, "real food") but it is very difficult to find things that are fully allergen free in a restaurant or similar prepared environment. Depending on the size of the school and the cafeteria system, they may be willing to work with him and prepare more plain meat and vegetable dishes for him. However, he'd need to make sure they understand that "a little bit" is still not ok for him, and understand that non-obvious ingredients can be problems. Also, most people's approach to allergen free food is also bland or boring. He may have trouble sticking to the diet if that is the case. Allergen free doesn't have to mean bad. Does his dorm have any kitchen facilities he can use? It would be much easier to make his own food. I'd also focus on the potential benefits of identifying the allergen for him, rather than the negatives of failing to comply. He will feel a lot better with the food out of his system, and once the trigger is found his diet will be much easier. Good luck to him. I know how hard this process can be.
     
  4. RomeoEcho

    RomeoEcho Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    483
    Have him ask lots of questions of the cook (not just the person who serves the food) about how they prepare meat and vegetables. Even without breading, butter or dairy based margarines, and commercially available stocks/bouillon are common allergy-laden hidden ingredients.

    If they have a good salad bar, he could ask about preparation of any of the prepared salad ingredients, maybe supply some of his own extra ingredients, canned chicken or fish, the better grains and beans LantusFiend mentioned. Also, homemade soups can be made very hearty and freezing or home canning makes it easy to stock up on good food. For that matter, many foods can be easily home canned to be later prepared with only a microwave.
     
  5. kiwikid

    kiwikid Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    IF he has Dr's orders for eliminating those 6 things, and you are paying for the meals, shouldn't the dining hall have to provide them for him? (they may not be NICE alternatives though) My 2nd daughter has just gone gluten free (pending test results), and the hostel were most helpful in helping set it up for her ..
     
  6. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    11,315
    Considering this is going to be such an extreme lifestyle change, doesn't the doctor have a dietician for him to work with? It would make sense for doing the diet, but to also help guide him on how to approach living with dining hall options. Some universities even have a registered dietician on staff.
     
  7. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    956
    A focus on meat (and fish) and vegetables (and fruit) during this time would provide him with a full and balanced diet. And what is not to like about buffalo chicken wings and salad? Or ribs and cole slaw? Even steak and potatoes with a side of broccoli?

    There are no doubt lots of resources out there for people living the paleo/primal/caveman diets which would apply. His diet would even be less restrictive since he could still eat some common grains like rice, oatmeal and corn.
     
  8. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    I worked for a brief time in a campus dining service. The ground beef had soy and bread filler, and while there was a binder with the ingrdient list available for students and staff the recipes were often not followed by the cook staff. I would advise that you and your son talk directly with the executive chef in charge. Good luck with your son's dietary restrictions and I hope he can have a positive experience.
     
  9. denise3099

    denise3099 Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,757
    No advice but my dd has ee too. They gave her swallowed flovent. We didn't eliminate anything. She's already allergic to nuts and soy, and ate very little dairy. Just thought I'd commiserate. hang in there.
     
  10. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Thanks, everyone! My DS will likely begin the swallowed Flovent next week - the allergist wanted to save that for the GI doctor to prescribe. Josh is going to have the choice whether or not he wants to do the food elimination in all likelihood. I am a huge believer in fixing the root cause of the disorder if at all possible instead of masking with medications, and I think my son is as well. The allergist told us that even in people with no food allergies, 75% of the time, the EoE goes away with the elimination of the six food categories - wheat, egg, shellfish, dairy, soy, and nuts. The process then goes to adding back in one or two groups at a time and scoping again to see which one(s) caused the reaction. So it isn't elimination forever, but it is challenging for a while for sure. I don't know what he will decide - it's tough when they are legal adults and you can't decide things for them :cwds:. My goal is to do the research and be able to give him a list of what he CAN eat instead of focusing on what he can't. He's already bummed about pizza!

    Josh may decide to do the Flovent and try the food elimination when he's home for the summer and I can help him with food prep.

    I am going to look into some of the paleo/caveman diet things and see what they say, and keep researching. He does have access to a kitchen in the dorm, so he could probably do some cooking if he needs to do so.

    Thanks again - and if you think of anything else, please chime in!
     
  11. kim5798

    kim5798 Approved members

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    745
    dinty moore beef stew. I always keep a can or two as it is one thing that is safe for my gluten free daughter to eat in a pinch, for a quick meal. Sometimes I put it over rice. I checked the label & think it is free of all you listed. You can get it in the microwavable containers too, so that might be good for the dorm.

    other than that, i would say, meat, brown rice or white, corn tortillas, beans, veggies, salad & fruits. Keep food simple...not processed & he will do better.
     
  12. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    I would never have thought of that! Thanks, Kim!
     
  13. purplewowies

    purplewowies Approved members

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    There are probably some microwavable steamed vegetables that don't have what you listed in them. I was going to suggest the one I have in my freezer, but it's an Asian blend and has soy.

    Rice is definitely an option. I'm staying at a K-12 school for a practicum this year, and there isn't a dining hall for the college students in my program, so I'm kinda living off rice.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice